Intercultural competence (ICC) is increasingly important for healthcare professionals, and study abroad (SA) programs have been one mechanism to increase students’ ICC. With SA programs being cancelled due to the pandemic, and qualitative literature supporting virtual intercultural learning (ICL), the purpose of this paper is to describe a novel approach towards “study abroad” without traveling abroad and evaluate participant gains in ICC with a virtual international ICL experience embedded into a graduate level pediatric audiology course. Nine U.S students and ten students at a partner institution in India were enrolled in the course. Comparison of pre- and post-IDI® scores showed a significant increase in ICC in both groups of participants. The increase in the group mean score for the U.S. students was substantially higher than the group mean score increases in SA students from the same institution. Qualitative reflections support the quantitative data. Overall, results indicate that embedding virtual international ICL activities in a course can be an effective mechanism to enhance ICC, both for U.S. students without traveling abroad, and for the overseas partner students, indicating that the program was mutually beneficial.
Krishnan, L. A.,
Innovative Changes to Study Abroad: Virtual Intercultural Learning during the Pandemic.
Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders, 6(2).